In the rural communities where I have spent the last two years, it is rare to see a door closed and locked up. If someone is present in the house, the door is open and welcoming. Walking through town and being pulled into any and every house to talk, drink a juice, and share some time has been a beautiful experience. Since I am part of the community as well, I also leave my door open when I am home. Having children arrive at all times to draw and jump rope, neighbors stop by for coffee, and students come by for homework help has also been a, sometimes trying, but overwhelmingly rewarding experience.
As I prepare to end my time in SEED, instead of feeling like I am closing doors and leaving them behind, I feel like God is opening more doors to me. Throughout my time in SEED, I have become more and more certain that the trajectory of my life has been bringing me here, to this work, to these communities. Doors are being flung open for me through vocational opportunities, relationships, and challenges.
Doors have been opened for me to continue accompanying the communities that have worked their way deep into my heart. I have been given the opportunity to stay in Colombia, to extend the support I can give to more communities in Montes de María, and to concentrate in the area that I studied: providing psychological supports for the communities and working with youth.
Doors have been opened in relationships: relationships that have opened my mind to a vision of how to live loving your neighbor; relationships that have opened my eyes to the sacrifices one makes in order to work for a future of peace; and a path has opened up friendships that will impact me for a lifetime.
Doors have been opened to me to continue growing in challenges: the challenges of working in communities with significant trauma that affects each generation, the challenges of working with institutions that promise with their words but follow through with few actions, and the challenges of taking care of myself in a rigorous and demanding context.
As I am finding so many open doors, I hope to be able to be someone that can open door for others, by being open to supporting others, open to building more relationships, and open to giving of myself as others have given to me.
Please pray for the transitions of all the SEEDers, whether it is a transition to their home country, to a new community, or staying put in their communities of service. Thank you for all the support through prayers and words of encouragement for the last two years.